Together with undergraduate and graduate students, I have conducted research in computational complexity theory, ethics in engineering and computing, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and engineering education. We have developed optimal on-line simulations between computational models, designed the first distributed election algorithm on complete networks, analyzed fault-tolerant consensus protocols for shared memory systems, introduced informed consent into the theory of privacy, categorized students’ misconceptions in digital logic, and assessed the outcomes of ethics instruction and peer-led team learning. Recently we have we have identified special responsibilities of developers and users of computational models in research, we have measured the effect of structured pairing in laboratories on students’ confidence and attitudes, and we have proposed a new model of research mentoring. Currently we are investigating the role of grit in the persistence of engineering students, and we are studying the emotions that students experience in an introductory computer programming course.
- Computational complexity theory
- Ethics in engineering and computing
- Scholarship of teaching and learning
- Engineering education research
Current and recent projects
- Enhancing Intrinsic Motivation in Core Engineering Courses, National Science Foundation, DUE-1140554, 2012-14.
- LGBTQ Students in Engineering: Climate and Perceptions, Campus Research Board, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012-13.
- Can Ethics Instruction Improve Students’ Technical Skills in Computer Science?, National Science Foundation, DUE-1044207, 2011-13. Press release
- The National Professional and Research Ethics Portal, National Science Foundation, SES-1045412, 2010-12. Press release | Newspaper story | NSF announcement
- Why Too Many Smart Women Leave Engineering: A Preliminary Study of How Engineering Students Form Career Goals, Provost’s Initiative on Teaching Advancement, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009-10.
- The Responsible Conduct of Computational Modeling and Research, National Science Foundation, IIS-0832843, 2008-13.
- Assessment of Student Teams in a Freshman Engineering Course, Grants for the Advancement of Teaching in Engineering (GATE) Program, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008-09.
- Development of Concept Inventories for Computer Science, National Science Foundation, DUE-0618589, 2006-10.
- Role-Play Scenarios for Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research, National Science Foundation, EEC-0628814, 2006-10.
Current thesis and project students
- Olubunmi Babajide (co-advisor: W. Oakes)
- Dayoung Kim (co-advisor: B. Jesiek)
Recent thesis and project students
- S. Zahra Atiq, Emotions experienced by first-year engineering students during programming tasks, Ph.D. Dissertation (co-advisor: Jennifer DeBoer), 2019
- Whitney Barnes, The adjustment experience of first-year international undergraduate students in engineering, Senior Thesis, 2010
- Dong San Choi, Grit, mindsets, and retention of engineering students, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2018
- Nicholas D. Fila, Who’s driving? Structured pairing in an electronics laboratory, M.S. Thesis, 2010
- Geoffrey L. Herman, The development of a digital logic concept inventory, Ph.D. Dissertation (co-advisor: Craig Zilles), 2011
- Anwen (Miranda) Jiang, What should I do next? How advanced engineering students decide their post-baccalaureate plans, Senior Thesis, 2012
- David J. Kijowski, Responsible conduct of research with computational models and simulations, M.S. Thesis, 2010
- John K. Knorek, Faculty teaching climate: scale construction and initial validation, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2012
- Athena Lin, Cultivating dispositions towards social responsibility: Students’ perceptions of the social responsibilities of engineers, Senior Thesis, 2017.
- Rebecca Reck, Experiential learning in control systems laboratories and engineering project management, Ph.D. Dissertation (co-advisor: R. Sreenivas), 2016
- Renata A. Revelo Alonso, Engineering familia: The role of a professional organization in the development of engineering identities of Latina/o undergraduates, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2015
- K. F. Trenshaw, Improving motivation and engagement in core engineering courses with student teams, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2014